Ryan Jones
Portland

What is your job title, and what does that position entail?

My job at Olympus Controls is Mechanical Engineer II as part of the Engineering Systems group. I spend my time designing, testing and implementing anything from quick turn assemblies to large all-in-one systems with robots, conveyors, you name it. Basically, anything that our applications and sales engineers need help with comes our way.

How long have you worked at Olympus, where did you come from? A little history of how you got involved with Olympus?

I’ve been with Olympus Controls since June 2018, it’s been the best job I’ve ever had. I worked a few different engineering jobs after college, including 2 years at a material handling company, a stint at a cinema robotics startup as a software engineer and lastly at a chainsaw manufacturer. I was looking to do more work with robotics when I applied to the job at Olympus Controls, and lo and behold, Tim O’Neal, who had also worked at the same chainsaw company I had, interviewed me for the position at Olympus. We talked about what a small world it is (with some robotics and engineering in between) along with Dan Sturges and right from the beginning of the interview everything just seemed right.

What do you like best about working at Olympus?

The culture and people are amazing. Since day one everyone has been so friendly and so enthusiastic, it’s like everyone here actually enjoys their jobs! The company has set a certain culture that puts employee’s happiness first and it really shows in everyone’s attitudes and the quality of work they perform is outstanding as a result. The professional development opportunities are also the best I’ve ever seen at a company, large or small, and I believe that helps retain the best people.

Describe a little of your past history.

I was born and raised in Fairview, just outside of Portland, and throughout high school my two favorite activities were sports (tennis, basketball, cross country) and the FIRST robotics club, where we competed with our own self-built robot. I attended Oregon State for Mechanical Engineering after high school, completed two internships while there and took every robotics course I could. My favorite story that should have told me I was destined to work on robots is one my mom likes to tell: When I was a kid, I used to take old toilet paper rolls and small cardboard boxes and tape them together to make “robots”. As I got older I kept wanting to figure out things worked, so I took everything apart possible and kept making robots out of those parts. I was the nerd who also loved sports and being energetic, and I pride myself on being the same way today.

Describe some of your hobbies – what do you like to do outside of work?

I’ve always had a problem of having too many hobbies and not enough time, but my non-active hobbies are reading, watching movies/shows and working on my second bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. My active hobbies are everything from weight training, playing/watching basketball and tennis, hiking, camping, snowboarding, hanging out with friends and family and dancing. I also love anything on the water. As far as the dancing goes, my friends, my girlfriend and I have been going to Bushwhackers for country dancing for about 3 years. It’s just down the street from the Tualatin office and we still love to tear it up most Thursdays.

What are some key lessons you have taken from your career thus far?

I think the two most important things I’ve learned are how important communication and time management are. High school and college teach you a lot about the background subjects necessary for a career, but I find the most successful people are the ones who have the best communication and time management skills. Balancing quality of work with being on time to a customer can be hard to do, but without that balance your products will either be of low quality or they’ll never get sold because they are so late.

What is one thing you customers might find surprising about you?

This question makes me feel like I’m not very “interesting”, but I guess some surprising things are I can play the violin, I can solve a Rubik’s cube in about a minute, I enjoy baking extravagant desserts and I love to dance!